A complete guide to phrases in everyday life.
A Word in your Shell-Like will be the ideal replacement or complement to that tatty old copy of Brewer's most of us have about the house: a modern, entertaining guide to the wonderful world of phrases, familiar and unfamiliar, a landmark publication by one of the key world authorities in English language reference. It is an entirely phrase-based book, exploring well-known phrases catchphrases, slogans, idioms, cliches, nicknames, titles of books and films, and quotations. The articles will contain discussion of meaning, origin and usage.
Sample entries include:
'but, miss you're beautiful without your glasses'
'I must go down to the seas again'
'small, but perfectly formed'
'sold down the river
abhors a vacuum
all dressed up and nowhere to go
another meal the Germans wont have
What did you do in the Great War, Daddy?
Few other word reference books are likely to increase your store of knowledge with such fun: find out of whom it was said: he couldnt chew gum and fart at the same time, who the catcher in the rye was, and what it means to be caught between wind and water.
in your shell?like (ear). Phrase used when asking to have a 'quiet word' with someone: '(Let me have a word) in your ear' is all it means, but it makes gentle fun of a poetic simile. Thomas Hood's Bianca's Dream (1827) has: 'Her small and shell-like ear'. The Complete Naff Guide (1983) has 'a word in your shell-like ear' among 'naff things schoolmasters say'.
over 6000 phrases explained.
An essential companion for all lovers of the English language; a landmark reference guide to English phrases.
Written by Nigel Rees, a world-renowned expert on colloquial English and author of over 50 reference books.